Kraft Advertising-to-Kids Policy Applauded
Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan
January 12, 2005
Kraft is doing parents a real favor by recognizing that foods of poor nutritional quality should not be advertised to kids. By setting nutrition standards for foods advertised to six- to 11-year-olds, Kraft will make it a little easier to reduce kids’ consumption of foods high in calories, saturated and trans fat, or added sugars.
Kraft has taken an important first step. The next should be to strengthen its sodium standards, limit advertising to kids 12 to 17, and extend its marketing guidelines to cartoon characters on packages, “advergames” on the Internet, contests, and other forms of marketing. I hope that other companies—like Kellogg, General Mills, and McDonald’s—will emulate, and out-do, Kraft.
Unfortunately, modest corporate restraints on the advertising of processed foods will not increase the marketing of truly healthful foods—like fruits, vegetables, and fat-free dairy products—that should form the bulk of children’s diets. That’s where government needs to step in and sponsor major healthy-eating campaigns, ensure that processed foods are more healthful, and strengthen nutrition education in schools.